If you ever wondered what ambient music is all about, you could do worse than listen to the soundtrack by Brian Eno that accompanied the stunning visuals of NASA's Apollo missions to the moon. Created with an intoxicating mixture of acoustic and electronic, the music makes the now-classic space travel images more magical and memorable, introducing a dreamlike element to scenes of cold reality. "An Ending (Ascent)" is about as close to an actual tune as you'll get, but, as with every track, a shining example of what ambient music reveals about itself–slowly and carefully. – Paul Clark
This is how it came about: Prior to the effort in question, Hammill and Roger Eno chose a key in which to begin, and a specific time at which their performances would start. Then, sitting in their respective studios, miles apart, and with no communication whatsoever, they began to improvise, using various instruments. After one hour exactly, both ceased performing…
Both Brian Eno and John Cale have always flirted with conventional pop music throughout their careers, while reserving the right to go off on less accessible experiments, which means they've always held out the promise that they would make something as attractive as this synthesizer-dominated collection, on which Eno comes as close to the mainstream as he has since Another Green World and Cale is as catchy as he's been since Honi Soit. The result is one of the best albums either one has ever made. [A 2005 reissue added two bonus tracks: "Grandfather's House" and "You Don't Miss Your Water."]
For the record, Nerve Net was not Brian Eno's first attempt at rock & roll. Not counting his time with Roxy Music, he also made several solo albums in the 1970s that were clearly intended as approaches to pop music – they were sideways approaches, of course, shaped by the intellectual distance he has always kept between himself and the music that arises from the forces that he puts into motion, and they were far from unqualified successes. But this is his most rocking solo album in years, and also his funkiest.
A listener familiar with the pedigree of the albums of Brian Eno might assume that Virgin/Astralwerks' release More Music for Films is merely a re-packaging of Music for Films II, a bonus album included within the LP boxed set Working Backwards. Such an assumption would be incorrect, as More Music for Films represents a new spin on a variety of soundtrack material made by Eno in the years 1976-1983, including some tracks drawn from Music for Films II, others from Eno Box I: Instrumentals, and at least six selections never made public before. According to Virgin, these are taken from the limited-edition promo LP of Music for Films, a two album set pre-dating the familiar EG release by two years and only circulated to filmmakers and journalists.
Brian Eno brings the first album in three and a half years. This Japanese edition features SHM-CD format, and includes four pieces of art prints and a 8-page booklet. Special packaging. Special Feature - a bonus track for Japan. The Ship marks Brian Eno's first ambient album since 2012's Lux. Work on the album began as a 3-D sound installation in Stockholm, but altered to stereo when Eno realized he could sing in a low C, The Ship's root note. The Ship contains two works, the 21-minute title track, and the three-part "Fickle Sun." The title piece, a reflection on the sinking of the Titanic, recalls a moment in his distant past: he released Gavin Bryars' Sinking of the Titanic on his Obscure Music label in 1975.
William Byrd (1543-1623) has been called the greatest English composer, an arbiter of the sublime and master of his craft. And while discerning early music listeners have a fair number of recordings to choose from in order to put any stake into this claim, this offering from ECM is as sensitive an introduction as any into all things Byrd.
This is a very good collection of Gesualdo's sacred motet style, performed beautifully. Most of these pieces are much more conservative and less chromatic than his madrigals, but they are exquisite and expresive and every bit as competent as the styles of contemporaries such as Gesualdo's alter-ego, Palestrina. Much of this music makes his mental turmoil and fear of damnation over his infamous murders achingly clear, especially the disturbing mode changes and chromaticism on parts of the text that say things like "have mercy on me" and words like "my sorrow and "my tears".